The size, location, and design of the hip joint can cause inflammation and chronic pain. This large ball and socket joint performs weight bearing and mobility functions, leaving it prone to injury and inflammation.
Hip Pain Treatment Options
The treatment of hip pain is unique for each patient. Surgery is an option, but there are less invasive procedures to try before deciding to have hip replacement surgery. The most widely used treatments for hip pain are:
- Using over the counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Increasing motor activities such as walking or swimming.
- Improving current diet and losing weight.
- Gels or oils designed for pain relief applied to the specific area causing pain.
- Application of an ice pack or heating pad to the hip area.
If the conventional treatments for treating hip pain are not successful, and pain is still affecting the hip joint, the physician may prescribe other options for relief such as certain types of hip injections for pain control. The injections can be used with other more common treatments to accomplish complete pain relief. Using injections help patients get moving and exercise with less pain and discomfort. When mobility increases, weight loss is achieved with more ease helping with the joint pain in specific patients. The types of injections most often used are:
- Cortisone shot in hip.
- Platelet-rich plasma injections.
Each type of injection has pros and cons. Successful treatment with the use of injections may include supplementing with other therapies such as physical therapy, nutrition plan, and assistive devices such as braces for support.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
The procedure is used to treat osteoarthritis with plasma and platelets derived from the patients donated blood. The plasma and platelets injected back into the patient contain healing properties to encourage tissue repair and promote natural healing.
Results from an injection of platelet-rich plasma can take several weeks before the patient notices results. Physical therapy is encouraged after platelet-rich plasma injection treatment to help increase mobility and healing at the injection site. The length effectiveness varies from each patient.
The benefits of platelet-rich plasma injections, or PRP, include the reduction of inflammation, which helps in reducing pain and the need for medication. Side effects of PRP include pain and swelling at the injection site.
The Procedure of PRP
The procedure is done after the patient has followed pre-injection precautions from their physician administering the injection. The following are the steps to the injection procedure:
- Blood is drawn from the patient then processed in a centrifuge machine.
- Platelet-rich plasma is prepared for injection.
- The site for the injection is cleaned.
- An ultra-sound machine probe may be present to assure accuracy.
- Numbing medication may be used before the injection at the site.
- The patient is advised to relax to help make the injection less painful.
- Platelet-rich plasma is injected into the site and the area is bandaged.
After the procedure, patients are asked not to put pressure on the affected joint and refrain from taking anti-inflammatory pain medication. A cold compress at the site several times a day is encouraged.
Hip Steroid Injection For Hip Pain
Cortisone injections, or sometimes referred to as steroid injections, work directly on treating inflammation in the hip joint. The inflammation experienced in the large hip joint causes pain in those individuals with osteoarthritis. Corticosteroids are effective in reducing the inflammation, thus reducing the pain in the hip joint. Some patients experience up to six months of pain relief. Limiting injections to three or four in twelve months is advised due to possible side effects. The most common side effects of cortisone injections are:
- Causing a rise in blood sugar levels.
- The risk of acquiring Cushing’s syndrome.
- The possibility of nerve damage, bone loss, or loss of cartilage.
Corticosteroid injections for pain, in addition to traditional pain management therapies, is successful for many patients.
Hip Injection Procedure For Steroid Injection
The injections for steroids for hip pain is very similar to the procedure for gel injections. Steroid injections are painful, so a numbing medication is given during the procedure to alleviate the pain. The patient may have side effects from the numbing medication for up to twenty-four hours.
Successfully Managing Hip Joint Pain With Injections
Monitoring and reporting the success of the injection received for hip pain and continuing other treatment options help to manage chronic hip joint pain. Combination treatment plans can help patients delay surgical intervention and assist in being able to do previously enjoyed activities.
About the Author:
Majid Ghauri, MD
Interventional Pain Management Specialist.
Medical Director and Founder of Spine and Pain Clinics of North America (SAPNA).